Is music streaming through your headphones or your computer’s speakers right now? If so, chances are you’re listening to Spotify. The online music streaming service, barely a year old in the United States, has taken music consumers by storm and currently boasts 10 million users in the United States. It’s been proclaimed as the music industry’s savior because it eliminates the need to illegally download music. And, like the radio, Spotify pays royalties to the artists listened to by users. But there’s a darker side to Spotify that many people aren’t aware of: counterfeiting.

When people think of problems revolving around the music industry, pirating music, not counterfeiting it, is usually the focus. But since Spotify has nullified the need to pirate music, some people are beginning to counterfeit songs and get them in the Spotify library and even make money on those songs. According to, “someone isn’t paying enough attention to what they accept into Spotify’s rapidly expanding catalog.” Neowin’s Tyler Holman did some research and discovered that there’s a lot more counterfeiting on the music service than any of us realized.

He claims there are cases such as Howlin’ Wolf having counterfeit versions of their songs be more popular than the actual Howlin’ Wolf song. The reason, according to Holman, is that the counterfeits are more popular that the originals because there are so many more of them. Holman’s research showed that the biggest target for counterfeiting is Johnny Cash. Though, he’s not sure why, he was right when he said that there countless compilations of “Johnny Cash” songs. But, just as Holman points out, the problem isn’t limited to just these two artists, it’s much more widespread.

And though Spotify has yet to respond to Neowin’s contact request, it’s impossible to believe that the company is unaware of this. With every solution comes a new problem. And that problem is counterfeit songs making their way into Spotify. Have you noticed this at all? Tell us in the comments what you think Spotify should do to keep the counterfeiters at bay.

One Response to Spotify Counterfeiters are Real Threat, Not Music Piracy

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    Michele | September 25, 2014at 10:08 am

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